Why Your Oral Health Matters

why-your-oral-health

Most of us have heard, “brush twice daily, floss once daily.” Some of us follow these directions, and some of us don’t. Those who don’t may be wondering why it matters how often we brush our teeth, besides the obvious reduction of bad breath, plaque, and cavities. The truth is, our oral health really does matter, and what’s going on in our mouths can affect our overall health.

Here are 3 reasons why the state of your teeth matters:

  1. When you don’t take care of your teeth, you’re likely to lose them, which can make daily functions more difficult. Without teeth, it can be hard to talk and eat solid foods.
  2. Failing to brush and floss can lead to the development of gum disease, which has been linked to other health issues. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer,54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.”
  3. People pay attention to your smile. One survey indicates that”52 percent of adults older than 50 and 45 percent of the 18-49 demographic are most likely to remember a smile after they’re introduced to someone for the first time.”

So, what can you do to take care of your teeth and gums? You guessed it…brush and floss. While these tasks aren’t complicated, you do want to make sure that you are brushing and flossing correctly. So, next time you pick up your toothbrush or a strand of floss, keep these tips in mind:

  • Brush correctly. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth.
  • Don’t forget your tongue. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.
    (Note: Do not swallow any toothpaste, and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing.)
  • Brush at specific times each day. The best times to brush are
    • In the morning after breakfast
    • After lunch or right after school
    • After dinner
    • At bedtime
  • Use your middle fingers to floss. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque.
  • Switch to clean sections of floss as you go. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish.
  • Don’t forget the teeth in the back! Floss behind all of your back teeth.
  • Pay attention to your teeth when you floss. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not stop after the first few times flossing, let a staff member know at your next appointment.

We hope that the information in this article have encouraged you to take your oral health seriously. If you have any questions or concerns, please visit our website or call our office to schedule an appointment – (919) 468-6410.

Take care of your smile!

 

 

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Forgetting to Brush & Floss? Use These Tips to Remind Yourself

Remember to Brush & FlossEveryone should brush twice and floss once daily. However, it can be easy to forget. Whether it is morning or night time, grabbing your toothbrush may be an afterthought if you are tired or in a rush. If you find yourself forgetting to brush or floss often, try these tips to help you remember.

Tip #1: Place sticky notes reminding you to brush/floss in places where you will see them.

Placing sticky notes around your house is a great way to leave yourself reminders. Here are some ideas for where you can leave notes:

  • On your nightstand
  • On your bathroom mirror
  • On your coffee maker
  • On your closet door

Tip #2: Leave your toothbrush where you can see it.

If you currently put your toothbrush in a drawer on some other container where you can’t see it, it’s a good idea to move it to a spot in  your bathroom where it’s more visible, such as on your bathroom counter. Plus, you should always leave your toothbrush out in the open to dry after using it to limit the growth of bacteria.

You can also use this tip for floss. If you keep your container of floss hidden, try leaving it on the bathroom counter or at least in a spot that is easier to access.

Tip #3: Set a reminder in your phone.

If you have an iPhone, you can use the Reminders app to set yourself a reminder to brush. You can also have the reminders repeat daily. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Reminders app.
  2. Click the “+” button to add a new reminder.
  3. Type your reminder. (ex: Brush for 2 minutes!)
  4. Click the “i” icon to edit the details of the reminder.
  5. Click the circle button to the right of “Remind me on a day” to turn this feature on.
  6. Tap the date beside “alarm” to edit the date & time of the reminder.
  7. Tap “Repeat” and choose “Every Day” to have the reminder repeat daily.

Set two reminders so that you are reminded to brush in the morning and at night!

Tip #4: Pick a certain time of morning/night to brush and floss, and stick to it every day.

If you establish a routine, it may be easier for you to remember to brush and floss. This goes along with Tip #3 – pick a certain time of morning and night to be reminded to brush, and stick to it!

We hope these tips help you remember to brush and floss! If you have any doubts about the importance of flossing daily, read our post Making Flossing a Priority. 

Take care of your smile!